Where to Stay: Trinidad’s finest hotels, B&Bs, villas, eco-retreats & more
A weekend conference, a Carnival adventure, a search for the blue-crowned motmot … Trinidad’s visitors have their needs and budgets, and the island’s accommodation stock has developed accordingly. Accommodation in Trinidad is centred in and around Port of Spain: major hotel chains, business hotels and guesthouses, some with conference centres. There are also hotels in San Fernando and a few properties in rural areas, especially on the north and northeast coasts. But attractive guesthouses, villas and apartments have emerged wherever they are needed.
As befits the ‘Saudi Arabia of the Caribbean’, Trinidad’s hotels are among the best in the region for both business travellers and world leaders. As the host of two world summits in 2009, the island’s major hotels accommodated hundreds of dignitaries and entourages with consummate ease. As an energy giant, Trinidad is a frequent stop for oil executives and energy experts. Our many conference centres are always in demand by corporations, churches and regional organisations. You can find clean, comfortable accommodation to suit your budget at boutique hotels, guesthouses, inns and eco-retreats across the island.
For the Business Traveller
Business hotels in Trinidad can be grand or simply practical, but they provide what the businessman needs and expects.
Around Port of Spain — the capital
Several of the major brands have properties in and around Port of Spain (Hilton Hotel & Conference Centre, Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Courtyard by Marriott), and there are some popular independent properties like the Carlton Savannah in St. Ann’s, Kapok Hotel or Royal Palm Suite Hotel in Maraval. There is plenty of flexible conference and meeting space in the city, and a recently established conference bureau. Excellent hotels and facilities are part of the reason why Trinidad continues to be the business centre of the region.
Around San Fernando — the energy hub
In San Fernando, two leading establishments are the Royal, Cara Suites and Tradewinds hotels, while the new Holiday Inn Express is located close to Piarco Airport. In the Port of Spain suburbs, Cascadia and Chancellor (St. Ann’s); the Coblentz Inn (Cascade) are popular choices. In scenic Chaguaramas, enjoy seaside sunsets and a range of on-site amenities at CrewsInn (which also processes marine and yacht arrivals) and the Coral Cove Marina.
For the Vacationer
City, coast or mountain? Port of Spain is not the best base for a sun-and-sand holiday (the famous Maracas Bay is more than half an hour’s drive); its visitors are after the excitement of its music, partying, bars and nightspots, its flamboyance and its general “buzz”. Luxury seekers gravitate to the large hotels with their world-class spas and entertainment, and virtually all of the business hotels mentioned above will cater to all your vacation needs.
Guesthouse, Bed & Breakfast & Small Hotel Options
Adventurers and budget travellers stay at the smaller hotels, guesthouses, and bread-and-breakfast properties. Guesthouses near the capital include the Allamanda (Woodbrook), Par-May-La’s (Newtown), Monique’s (Maraval), and Alicia’s House (St. Ann’s). Beyond the city, the north, northeast and southeast coasts supply most of the beach properties, smart or rustic.
If you have a quiet escape in mind, Grande Rivière on the northeast coast is exquisite, with establishments like Mt. Plaisir right on the beach. In other favourite spots like Blanchisseuse, Toco, Manzanilla and Mayaro, guesthouses like Laguna Mar and private homes are available for rent. Plans are afoot for additional beachfront developments, though start and completion dates are tentative.
For the Eco-Adventurer
The eco visitors and nature enthusiasts, both scientific and amateur, on the other hand, get out of town quickly and head for the hills and the forests. A few properties cater especially for those interested in the island’s flora and fauna, its wetlands, its nesting turtles, and above all its magnificent variety of birds. Accommodation is usually close by, but is in limited supply: it includes the world-famous Asa Wright Nature Centre in the hills above Arima, and Hacienda Jacana near Talparo. Turtle watching? Mt. Plaisir in Grande Rivière lets guests get close to the magnificent and endangered leatherback turtle, which nests on the beaches of the northeast coast each March through August. Indeed, the northeast of Trinidad is the second largest leatherback nesting ground in the world.
Availability & Prices
Hotel rooms average US$125 a night, guesthouses $65; but discounted rates and packages are often available – particularly in the current global economic climate. Island-wide, last-minute rooms are usually available, but be sure to book well in advance if you need a place to stay during Carnival season or major conferences and international events. Peak season is December–April, and rates increase dramatically around Carnival time when droves of expatriates and tourists flock to Trinidad. Book as far in advance as you can.
Featured Accommodation (in alphabetical order)
Allamanda Guesthouse & Inn (Woodbrook)
For first-timers, The Allamanda is an introduction to the sheer warmth of Trini hospitality. Committed to keeping customers happy, the Allamanda features ensuite boutique rooms and self-contained studio apartments with kitchenettes (with private entrance), all decorated with artwork by local artists. The owner, June Edwards, is always welcoming and takes good care of her guests. In the morning you may have fresh orange or fruit juice and coconut water and a large and delicious breakfast, including fresh fruit and a local delicacy – it could be doubles, pholourie, tomato choka, saheena or a soft, delectable potato pie. Mrs Edwards is very knowledgeable about all things Trinidad and often facilitates trip planning and dining experiences. Tropical plants give the property a colourful cosiness. Lovely paintings and antique wooden furniture give the interior a genteel aura. Rooms are comfortable with cable TV, air conditioning and wireless internet. Mrs Edwards, will also arrange taxis and tours, and ensure that they are safe and affordable – a godsend for single female travellers and students. The property is secure, surrounded by high walls – which also offer solitude – and monitored by CCTV. Just one block away from all the nightlife, bars and restaurants in Woodbrook and 20 minutes from downtown Port of Spain or the Queen’s Park Savannah, it is a gem in the heart of the capital. There is a swimming pool on site.
Courtyard by Marriott (Port of Spain)
Step off the Audrey Jeffers Highway and into the quiet elegance of the 119-room Courtyard by Marriott. This stylish oasis is perfect for the busy executive – with large work desks and free high-speed internet access. Located near to downtown Port of Spain, the hotel is also perfectly poised next door to the MovieTowne Entertainment Complex which includes a multi-screen cinema, stores, restaurants and bars.
The Hasley Crawford National Stadium is just across the highway, so you may also be able to take in a football match, a karate tournament or a reggae concert. The Marriott’s conference rooms are ideally suited for business meetings, events or dinners. The service comes very highly recommended, and the staff regularly receives rave reviews for warmth and helpfulness. The restaurant is also rated highly, with both the food and the service given two thumbs up. Ideally suited for executives and their families, the Marriott has a small store where you can buy snacks, drinks and a few necessities. A microwave is available if you need it (no extra cost). The fitness centre and the pool will ensure you don’t spend the entire day in the luxurious comfort of your room.
The rooms have views of the sea and the foothills of the Northern Range. And just a few minutes away are St James, ‘the hip strip’, and Fort George, which gives a whole new perspective of the island (from 1,000 ft up).
Highlights include: free high speed internet access, large work desks and in room safes; international cable TV; hair dryer; refrigerator and coffee maker; coin-operated laundry service and a smoke-free environment.
Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre (St. Ann’s)
The suite that Fidel Castro stayed in during a regional summit is just one of the many talking points about the Hilton Trinidad. The spellbinding view of the Queen’s Park Savannah from the Obama Terrace is another. For many years this was Trinidad’s finest hotel, the first port of call for business executives, and the obvious accommodation for visiting heads of state, touring cricketers (Shane Warne and Steve Waugh caused quite a stir by the pool a few times) and headline entertainers (reggae artiste Shaggy comes to mind immediately).
Set amid 25 acres of landscaped gardens against the lush St Ann’s Hills, the Hilton’s outdoor attractions include squirrels and hummingbirds, lush bamboo and lots of trees. It is within walking distance of the Savannah, the Botanical Gardens and Queen’s Hall, if you want to take in a play or dance performance.
Known for being the ‘upside down’ hotel, the Hilton is built on a hill so you drive up to the top and enter the lobby, which is above most of the rooms. Be sure to ask for a view of the Savannah – at sunset, the view is spectacular.
Rooms are luxurious and tastefully decorated. For the tired traveller, it is heaven to come home to after a long flight. The executive lounge is open 24 hours (breakfast, and light snacks in the evening). Runners and sports enthusiasts will love making a lap around the Savannah – the largest roundabout in the world. Or play tennis on the courts. If it’s too hot out, the exercise room is great for a workout, with state-of-the-art cardio equipment and weights.
Hotel highlights include: private balconies in all guest rooms, offering stunning tropical and cityscape views; fitness center and sauna; outdoor pool and tennis courts; on-site bars and restaurants; multiple meeting and conference rooms, with both indoor and outdoor event space; sauna and spa.
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites (Trincity)
In the east, Holiday Inn Express is located just three minutes from Piarco Airport and 30 minutes from Port of Spain. Corporate travellers will appreciate the hotel’s business centre, free internet access and meeting room, which can be used for board meetings. Easy access to the University of West Indies in St Augustine, and the University of Trinidad and Tobago at O’Meara. Trincity Mall is within walking distance, and the Millennium Golf Course is a great place for an evening stroll. The hotel provides a complimentary shuttle from 4am to midnight daily to the airport, departing the hotel every hour and usually leaves the airport within 20 minutes of arrival. The hotel is favored by corporate travelers for their Business Center and free internet access, as well as a cozy meeting room. Accommodation includes standard rooms with air-conditioning, ensuite bathrooms and cable television on 32″ flat screens; executive club rooms (which add a microwave and a refrigerator); spacious suites with separate seating areas and sleeper sofas, microwave, refrigerator and wet bar; an on-site fitness centre and outdoor pool; dry cleaning service; and the complimentary airport shuttle.
Hyatt Regency Trinidad (Port of Spain)
Easily one of the most popular hotels in the country – particularly for business travellers – their 428 stylishly designed guestrooms and suites. Offering a superior level of service, the Hyatt Regency Trinidad is ideally located in the heart of Port of Spain along the waterfront. This luxury hotel has one of the largest conference facilities in the Caribbean. Other highlights include: several on-site dining options (including lobby bar, sushi bar, patisserie, and waterfront restaurant); airport transfer and taxi service; meeting and conference spaces; wired and wireless internet (for an additional fee); on-site spa facilities; rooftop pool; 24-hour room service; fitness facility; foreign exchange services; laundry and dry cleaning; computer terminals with high speed internet; and a robust concierge service (including a personal shopper service). Dining options include the Waterfront restaurant, the 24-hour Cinnamon Deli and Patisserie, the lobby bar and lounge, and a sushi bar. In addition, the hotel offers a state-of-the-art gym and a rooftop infinity pool and terrace with a poolside grill.
Kapok Hotel (Maraval)
Business travellers love Kapok Hotel; as did the late Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, when he stayed here during the Fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009. This eight-storey, 94-room boutique hotel offers stunning views of the Queen’s Park Savannah, which is just around the corner, as is the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens and Ellerslie Plaza. The restaurant at the top, Tiki Village, has been named among the finest in the country – great quality of food and drinks. The swanky Kava on the ground floor also gets rave reviews, especially for its specialty pizzas. Rooms come with a mini fridge so you can keep water and juice chilled. Their range of hotel rooms suit travelers with different needs, from balcony suites with separate living areas to cosy studio rooms with kitchenettes. Each floor features original art by local artists. Hotel amenities include room service, complimentary Wi-Fi, a gym, a guest computer room, an outdoor swimming pool, and their two on-site restaurants.
Royal Hotel (San Fernando)
Also down south is Royal Hotel. A giant samaan tree spreads its many arms in welcome at this relaxing oasis, where the staff are helpful and friendly. The hotel’s central location makes getting into and out of the city easy – you can get a route taxi to downtown San Fernando just outside the gate for less than US$1 one way. You can stroll down the road to food shops selling roti, doubles and other local delights. Just round the bend, up from the gas station, is the entrance to San Fernando Hill, a breath of fresh air and a rewarding spot for a bit of hiking and birding.
Royal Palm Suite Hotel (Maraval)
Once the default hotel for touring reggae artistes, the Royal Palm offers special rates to citizens of CARICOM countries. Located in the lovely suburb of Maraval, on the outskirts of Port of Spain, it is within walking distance of the country club, a large supermarket and lots of restaurants and fast-food outlets. It has 41 Standard Rooms (one, two or three beds, with shower/tub, carpet/tile) with satellite TV; three Superior Standard Rooms (with satellite TV, air conditioning and one queen sized bed); eight Business Suites (rooms are tiled with fridge, stove, bathtubs, air conditioning, microwaves, satellite TV; 20 Executive Suites (two queen beds, kitchen, fridge, stove, air conditioning, some with satellite TV), and offers long-term leases at reasonable rates that include air-conditioning, internet access, and use of the pool and spa.
Tradewinds Hotel (San Fernando)
This landmark hotel in one of South’s classiest communities is mere minutes away from the bustling city of San Fernando, restaurants, clubs and shopping malls as well as San Fernando Hill, an exhilarating green escape above it all. Corporate travellers and investors will appreciate the elegant décor and wonderful ambience of this charming southern beauty. The service is remarkable and the food is excellent – the Caesar salad and the lobster have received kudos. Long-term visitors especially begin to feel that the hotel is really their home. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff. One frequent flyer said he had never come across such a warm and inviting place to stay.
Do business Trini style – invite associates over for a lime and order the Liming Menu! In the dry season the outdoor deck is the perfect spot to take in a game on big screens. On weekends you can shake a leg to live music. The bar comes highly recommended as a great training ground for perfecting your liming skills. Let out the stress of tight deadlines or tough deals with some good old karaoke one evening.
Spacious rooms decorated in Caribbean colours make you feel at home. Business travellers will appreciate the many services to make life so much easier – from wake-up calls to a doctor being on call. A business centre and meeting facilities are available, as well as complimentary coffee, laundry service, kitchen, massage, sauna, currency exchange and room service. The gym is open every day; and car rental and tours to any part of the island can be arranged for you.
- Abercromby Inn (Port of Spain): abercrombyinn.com
- Acajou Hotel, Restaurant & Bar (Grande Rivière): acajoutrinidad.com
- Alicia’s House (St. Ann’s): 623-2802, aliciashouse.com
- Ambassador Hotel (Maraval): ambassadortt.com
- Cara Suites (Pointe-à-Pierre): 659-2272, carahotels.com/trinidad/index.php
- Carlton Savannah (Cascade): 621-5000, thecarltonsavannah.com
- Carnetta’s Inn (Maraval): carnettasinn.com
- Cascadia Hotel & Conference Centre (St Ann’s): 623-3511, cascadiahotel.com
- Chaconia Hotel (Maraval): chaconiahotel.com
- Chancellor Hotel (St. Ann’s): 623-0883, thechancellorhotel.com
- Coblentz Inn (Cascade): 621-0541, coblentzinn.com
- Coral Cove Marina (Chaguaramas): 634-2040, coralcovemarina.com
- CrewsInn Hotel & Yachting Centre (Chaguaramas): 634-4384, crewsinn.com
- Hacienda Jacana (Talparo): 498-7597, haciendajacana.com
- Halyconia Inn (Cascade): halyconiainn.com
- Jammev Beach Resorts (Toco): jammevbeachresorts.com
- Laguna Mar Beach & Nature Hotel (Blanchisseuse): lagunamar.com
- Le Grande Almandier (Grande Rivière): legrandealmandier.com
- Monique’s Guesthouse (Maraval): moniquestrinidad.com
- Mt Plaisir Estate Hotel (Grande Rivière): 670-8381, mtplaisir.com
- Par-May-Las (Newtown): 628-2008
- Pax Guest House (St. Augustine): paxguesthouse.com
- Radisson Hotel Trinidad (Port of Spain): radisson.com/port-of-spain-hotel-tt/ttosptr